By Adeola Badru, Ibadan
RETIREES under the Federal Contributory Pension Scheme (FECOPER) have embarked on a protest in Ibadan to drive home their grievances against the National Pension Commission (PENCOM) over issues ranging from non-payment of retirement benefits to non-payment of the arrears of an increase in pension by 15 percent and 33 percent since 2014 and enhancement of monthly pension.
The retirees who stormed the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) office, Ibadan with placards bearing various inscriptions, listed their other concerns to include the non-payment of accrued interest on bounded entitlements since 2004, and non-payment of gratuity to all pensioners under the Contributory Pension Scheme since July 2007 when the scheme took effect.
While addressing journalists, the Chairman of FECOPER, Elder Samuel Kajusola, lamented that the pension of some of the members who retired between July and December 2007 had been terminated since October 2017.
He disclosed that several contributory pensioners had not been paid their entitlements after over a year of retirement from service, bemoaning the haphazard nature of enhancement of pensions, such that several pensioners had only an addition ranging from N800 to N6000, and some none, over the years.
“We frown at the non-payment of retirement benefits to members when the Pension Reform Act 2014 (PRA 2014) stipulates that retirement benefits should be paid not more than three months from the date of retirement.”
“We are also not happy with the non-payment of the arrears of an increase in pension by 15 percent and 33 percent since 2014 despite various promises from PENCOM. The union is, therefore, imploring the government to approve a fund for this payment and implementation.
“The union in one of its numerous letters to the President of the country in May 2018 requested for the payment of the accrued interests on their retirement entitlements deposited with the Central Bank of Nigeria as bonds since July 2004. The union is thus demanding the payment of the accrued interests at the government’s official interest rate on all monetized amounts as at July 2014.”